Most consumers and businesses have multiple choices when it comes to digital services such as voice, broadband, mobile and video. So if their customer experience falls short, that competition means plenty of opportunities to churn faster than Usain Bolt.
It’s expensive to replace lost customers, which is just one example of how customer experience directly affects a service provider’s bottom line. If that experience is chronically bad, the provider’s brand will suffer. That means another hit to the bottom line as it has to spend more on advertising and promotions to try to overcome that negative perception.
The list of financial consequences goes on, but you get the point: There’s a strong, proven business case for deploying the tools and expertise necessary to monitor and maximize customer experience. My new report for TM Forum, Customer experience: Why the quest never ends, explores how service providers such as BT, Ethio Telecom and Telecom Italia are using personas, journey maps and network data to analyze and improve their customer experience.
Leaders take all the help they can get
Vodacom South Africa is among a growing number of service providers using TM Forum assets for those tasks, such as the Customer Centricity Program, which offers a variety of tools and best practices for developing a complete customer management strategy.
“We use the journey definitions and look toward best practice studies to assist, especially with business cases when doing improvements,” says Cornelia Van Heerden, Vodacom Managing Executive.
Another example is the Business Process Framework (eTOM), which Saudi Telecom Company uses to identify and classify core business processes for fulfillment, assurance and billing. “The whole CEM solution suite is very beneficial to us,” says Ahmed Gharawi, General Manager of Enterprise Customer Experience Excellence.
“The Omnichannel Guidebook provided focus and direction to our omnichannel strategy. We are implementing several initiatives to uplift the channels, and the guidebook helped us assess how we are progressing and what to prioritize.”
Many service providers say it’s key to look at other industries because customer experiences there influence expectations about what telecom should provide. “They compare us not to another telco, but to Amazon and other providers in an entirely different business,” says Dave Young, Director of Customer Insight, BT.
That’s why BT is benchmarking itself against those outsiders in areas such as on-time appointment rates and speed of response to inquiries.
“We’ve committed to halve the number of appointments we miss this financial year,” Young says. “That’s one example.”